If the owner of a vessel with United States Coast Guard (USCG) documentation loses their Certificate of Documentation, they will need to apply for a duplicate from the National Vessel Documentation Center. This can be done either electronically or via regular mail.
If your documented vessel’s documentation has expired for more than 30 days, then your vessel’s documentation cannot be renewed. Instead, it must be reinstated. You can find the form to reinstate your vessel documentation here.
If you are looking to transfer ownership of a USCG documented vessel, then utilize our “Transfer/Exchange” form. If, on the other hand, the vessel is registered with the state, then you are best served by contacting the California State DMV or Registrar.
To be in compliance with the USCG, a documented vessel must be marked properly.
Specifically, “NO.” (“N” and “O” followed by a period) must be marked before the vessel’s assigned official number. This must be marked in Arabic numerals that are at least three inches high and in block type. Additionally, these must be placed on some interior structural part of the hull where they’ll be clearly visible and, they must be permanently affixed. In terms of “clearly visible,” use common sense.
There are multiple ways to use our vessel documentation portal to discover who owns a particular vessel. To discover who the Managing Owner is, as well as the entire ownership history of the vessel, apply for an Abstract of Title. You can do so here.
Through our site, you can conduct a Coast Guard boat registration search. You can search by HIN (“Hull Identification Number”) or the Official Number of the vessel. Through this, you will receive information about a vessel’s name, tonnage measurements, particulars/dimensions, and more. You will not receive the owner’s name as that information was stricken from public access in 2018.
Titled vessels are, most likely, not registered with the USCG. They aren’t “documented vessels,” not with the Coast Guard. Instead, they’re registered with a particular State. USCG documented vessels are required to carry the USCG vessel documentation version of a title of vessel, called a “Certificate of Documentation.” If eligible, you can apply for one here.